By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
JERURSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife)– A leader of Israel’s Christian minority has been stabbed to death by a man dressed as Santa Claus, prompting the arrest of six locals in connection with the murder, church and police officials said Saturday, January 7.
Gabriel Cadis, the chairman of the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association, was reportedly killed late Friday, January 6, in Jaffa, a predominantly Arab port district of Tel Aviv.
Witnesses said he was attacked by a person dressed as Santa Clause while marching during a parade marking Jesus’s birth according to the Eastern church calender.
Police said the stabbing occurred at the end of a march held by the Christian community along a Jaffa street. “People nearby evacuated him from the scene,” Police spokesman Moshe Katz told The Jerusalem Post news paper.
RUSHED TO HOSPITAL
Cadis was rushed to Wolfson Medical Center in nearby Holon where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, the news paper reported.
A funeral procession was held for him in Jaffa on Saturday, January 7, with over an estimated thousand mourners joining the Cadis family home to St. George Church.
There was no claim of responsibility and police said they do not suspect a religiously motivated attack.
Yet, the violence was expected to add to mounting religious tensions in Israel.
Hardline Orthdox groups have been linked to attacks against women as well as against Messianic Jews, who believe that Jesus is the Messiah.